Giving White Paper Panel at The Cabinet Office

Last week Liane took part in a panel to discuss barriers and actions around improving access to temporary and empty space that was convened by Somewhereto_ on behalf of the Cabinet Office. The panel brought together an eclectic mix of people ranging from Ethical Property Foundation, social entrepreneurs, developers and property practitioners as well as somewhereto_ co-ordinators and young people that had developed successful activities in somewhereto_ spaces.

The session was expertly chaired by Miranda Sawyer who kept us on point and in check! What was so evident was that the work somewhere-to is doing to unlock access for young people to explore, deliver and manage positive and creative activities in empty, unused and temporary spaces is a model that needs to be replicated across the country and for all ages. However, the vagaries of navigating around the complexities of….effectively, borrowing space do end up putting people off. On both sides.

The property sector possess the space but there is nervousness in giving it over to potential young users, there are also legal and financial barriers. From a beneficiary point of view there is a lack of confidence in asking for space and having the right language to participate in conversations around property – too much jargon!

The purpose of the session was to identify barriers and develop some creative and tangible actions for overcoming some of these issues. I have every confidence somewhereto_ can develop the effective partnership in needs to do this – its an amazing project developed as part of the Olympics Legacy – check it out here: and if you can help or add a space, drop them a line on twitter: @somewhereto_

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